Friday 29 April 2016

All about Food

Food is a must for human race. The human body needs good food to subsist. It is essential for the survival and to lead healthy life. Good food makes the body strong. When we go to restaurants, we see and hear about various cuisines ranging from say – Continental, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Turkish, Arabic, etc. Food is cooked with different ingredients, herbs and spices and served in style to satisfy the customers and their palate. Here we touch upon some of the food and their cooking style.

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Breakfast: It is said, having a good breakfast as it is the first meal of the day. Eating breakfast helps in weight management. It not only fuels the body to help provide energy, better concentration and problem solving ability throughout the busy day. Eating a breakfast is also good for the brain and the body. It is said that if you skip breakfast, you tend to have a short attention span, lack of alertness, longer reaction time, low blood sugar and decreased work productivity. Surely, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Have a good and balanced breakfast. Remember, it’s one of the biggest nutritional mistakes some people make by skipping breakfast.

Beverage: A glass of fresh juice is high in vitamins, which energises you and quenches your thirst. It is good for health and helps to increase your pleasure of eating. Juice is a hundred per cent fruit content. Juice drinks are juice diluted with sugar acid syrup with acidity up to 1 per cent and suspended solids about 10-12 per cent.

Coffee & Tea: Most of the people love coffee or tea as it delights their palate. Even in ancient civilization, the consumption of this magic drink has been recorded. Tea was first discovered in China. The belief is that one day a tea leaf fell by mistake into the boiling water, the Chinese were so happy with the outcome that even today there are certain places where fresh tea leaves are directly put into boiling water to create this delightful drink.

Coffee was officially discovered in Ethiopia and it did not take long before the whole world was enchanted by its taste and aroma. Both tea and coffee acts as a stimulant for the brain and the body too. Though coffee and tea are not so vital for our existence, but it can make a great difference in our lives. Some people get so addicted that they must have their cup of tea or coffee in the morning and evening.

Pasta: Most of us have heard about pasta and eaten it too. Pasta is widespread in Argentina and Brazil especially in the areas with strong Italian roots. Pasta made its way to the new world through English who discovered it while touring Italy. Pasta is a generic term for food made from unleavened dough of wheat or buckwheat, water and sometimes other ingredients like egg and vegetable extract. Pasta includes noodles in various lengths, widths and shapes. It is generally served with sauce. The sauce and type of pasta are usually matched based on consistency and ease in eating. Two common spaghetti dishes served in Japan are Bolognese and Neapolitan. In India, Macaroni has been adopted and cooked with a local touch and flavor.

Mughlai Cuisine: The Mughlai Cuisine comes from the kitchens of the ancient Mughul emperors and aristocracy. The cuisine dominates in the northern part of India and has strong influences of Muslim cooking. In fact, Indian cuisine, especially meat is predominantly influenced by the cooking style practiced during the Mughul era. Mughlai food is known for its richness. It is famous for the exotic use of spices, dried fruit and nuts. Mughlai dishes have a distinct aroma and taste of ground and whole spices. Mughlai food occupies a commanding position in the popular cuisines of India. The rich preparation of Mughlai food consisting of flavored sauces and butter based curries are tempting that food lovers are bound to crave for more. It offers an amazingly delicious variety of food ranging from hot spicy shorba, Kababs or soup to ginger based roasted meats to kulfi with rose petals sprinkled on it.

South Indian Cuisine: South Indian cuisine is a term used to refer to the cuisines found in the four southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The common factor in the cuisine of the four states is rice as the staple food. The use of lentils and spices with dried red chilies and fresh chilies, coconut and native fruits and vegetables like tamarind, plantain, snake gourd, garlic and ginger, etc. Overall, all the cuisine of the four states have much in common and differ mostly in the spiciness or hotness of the food.

Andhra, Chettinad, Tamil, Hyderabadi, Mangalorean and Kerala cuisines, each have a distinct taste and method of cooking. Some popular dishes include biryani, ghee rice with meat curry, seafood – prawns, mussels, mackerel, etc, and paper-thin pathiris from the Malabar area. These distinct cuisines are very popular.

Tandoor: The tandoor is used for cooking certain types of Iranian, Afghani, Pakistani and Indian foods such as local bread known as roti, Tandoor chicken and Chicken tikka. The tandoor is a cylindrical clay oven used for cooking and baking found in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey. The heat in the tandoor was traditionally generated by charcoal fire or wood fire burning within the tandoor itself. Temperature of the tandoor can go up to 480 degrees centigrade. The oldest example of a tandoor was found in the Harappa and Mohenjo Daro settlements of the ancient Indus Valley Civilisation. Tandoori chicken is a roasted chicken delicacy that originated in the North Western India. It later became a popular Punjabi dish during the time of the Mughal Empire in central and southern Asia. In many Indian and Pakistani restaurants, red tandoori chicken is generally served with sliced onions and lemon.

Chinese Cuisine: Now Chinese cuisine is popular around the world. The Chinese cuisine takes us back to the Chinese stone age where cultivation of rice and the production of noodles both typical representation of Chinese cuisine were found. Since Chinese cuisine has become popular, you can find Chinese restaurant in every major city of the world. The history of Chinese cuisine is an interesting one, unlike many cultures believe that the preparation of food is an art, Chinese food is authentic and probably the healthiest food. Good Chinese food is prepared and cooked with polyunsaturated oils. Authentic Chinese food does not require the use of milk fat ingredients such as cream, butter and cheese. Meat is used but not in abundance. Rice was first farmed in China along the Yang-tse river as early as about 5000 BC. They cooked rice by boiling it in water.

Dessert: Normally after a good meal, you have a dessert to finish off your lunch or dinner. Dessert refers to the last course of a meal. It usually consists of fruits, cheese or sweetmeat or all three. It is derived from an old French term which means ‘clear the table’. The two basic reasons why dessert is always served last apart from tradition is, enjoying dessert right at the end of a sumptuous meal actually gives time to your digestive system, and secondly, eating dessert last also slows down the absorption of the sugar from the dessert to your body.

The term dessert is generally used in USA, Canada, Ireland, Australia and France, but in UK, the term sweet pudding and afters are more commonly used. The first ice cream parlour in America opened in New York City in 1776. Now it is a common practice all over the world to have a dessert at the end of a meal.

Also read:  Taste of South India


Can all the nuclear bombs wipe out humanity?

It’s always said a nuclear war will wipe out humanity and will bring about the end of this world. Nothing that humans do will wipe out humanity off  the face of Earth, writes American astronomer Seth Shostak in Quartz. Even if all the nuclear powers used all their bombs together, billions of us would survive.

10,000 is the approximate number of nuclear weapons in the world at present and 7.5 billion is the current human population. The worst-case scenario will be 1.6 billion deaths. 6 billion will survive, roughly equal to the world population in 1999.

Picture Post:
Kudroli Temple, Mangalore, 
Karnataka, India.

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